1. The act of imitating. Poesy is an art of imitation, . . . That is to say, a representing, counterfeiting, or figuring forth. (Sir P. Sidney)
2. That which is made or produced as a copy; that which is made to resemble something else, whether for laudable or for fraudulent purposes; likeness; resemblance. Both these arts are not only true imitations of nature, but of the best nature. (Dryden)
3. One of the principal means of securing unity and consistency in polyphonic composition; the repetition of essentially the same melodic theme, phrase, or motive, on different degrees of pitch, by one or more of the other parts of voises. Cf. Canon.
4. (Science: biology) The act of condition of imitating another species of animal, or a plant, or unanimate object. See imitate.
imitation is often used adjectively to characterise things which have a deceptive appearance, simulating the qualities of a superior article; opposed to real or genuine; as, imitation lace; imitation bronze; imitation modesty, etc.
Origin: L. Imitatio: cf. F. Imitation.